An email newsletter is a fabulous way to maintain contact with your customers. An email is sent by you on a semi-regular basis; if your customers have time to spend they read it later or delete it. You have given them the liberty to automatically unsubscribe at any time, so they don't bother to inform you when they are no longer interested in receiving it. Various business establishments like banks, airlines, insurance and telecommunications companies are now using email newsletters to stay in touch with their customers. There is no reason you can’t do so too.
In spite of following different ways, all email newsletters have to automate the list management and find an easy method to administer it. If you surf the Internet, you can find a number of free newsletters or mailing list providers. They normally use a web-based administration area and include Your MailingList Provider, ListPower, NotifyList.com and ListApp. You may prefer a solution where the list is hosted and managed by a small business specialist like Constant Contact. Monthly rates go up with the number of subscribers, though lists of contacts not exceeding 50 are free.
If you are happy with web page design you should be able to install and run a PHP script. You can try MyMail, a free PHP script that works very well. You can find plenty of other scripts in PHP and other languages at HotScripts.
Commercial programs such as eNewsletter Pro, PostCast and MailWorksPro can also do the job for you. They either run on the web server or on your desktop. You should not just keep adding people to your list without their permission. This is called spam, which is a big taboo capable of driving your customers away.
As there are some problems with sending HTML newsletters as email, it is better to provide your readers with the ability to choose what format they prefer. This needs a more powerful program to manage the list, and you might need to format a plain text and HTML version.
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